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Anthology Film Archives

Post-Pickle Surprise: Tracing the Influence of Tom Rubnitz at Anthology Film Archives

by Emily Colucci on August 22, 2016
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Even if you don’t know the name of the director or the glitter-covered club kid stars, you’re probably familiar with Tom Rubnitz’s viral video “Pickle Surprise.” With over two million views and counting, the Internet granted the East Village filmmaker a prolonged afterlife. (He died in 1992 due to complications from AIDS.) After inadvertently connecting with a new generation of YouTube viewers, what is the legacy of Rubnitz’s fast-paced, TV-drenched brand of cinematic camp on today’s filmmakers and artists?

This question was explored on Sunday, August 14 in a whirlwind of videos and films at the Anthology Film Archives, courtesy of a screening organized by Dirty Looks’ Bradford Nordeen. The videos ran the gamut from literal reinterpretations to subtle references to Rubnitz’s films. Barry Morse’s “Ookie Cookie” combined tropes from “Pickle Surprise” and its sequel “Strawberry Shortcut” into an obsessively direct tribute to Rubnitz’s queer psychedelic vision while Brice Dellsperger’s “Body Double 34” featured transgender models on magazine covers maddeningly lip-synching dialogue from My Own Private Idaho. Overall, Rubnitz’s lineage appeared in the form of copious drag queens, shocks of color, media-soaked imagery and an over-the-top hallucinatory style.

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This Week’s Must See Events: Beach Blanket Bingo

by Rhett Jones on June 28, 2016
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It’s Fourth of July weekend! Or it will be at least. And that means all of the art events will peter out over the next few days. But before then, there are a ton of group shows opening up. We’ve pulled some of the most promising ones from all over the city.

Tonight, you have a rare chance to see some films by Lois Weber, a nearly forgotten female filmmaker from the dawn of Hollywood. Wednesday brings an ambitious program by the Hunter East Harlem Gallery that will address the myriad problems with female incarceration. Thursday, Zwirner will be letting the lunatics run the asylum with a massive staff group show. Friday has a Bushwick exhibition that will probably be (like most Bushwick exhibitions) hit or miss. Then … things will go quiet. But, we’ve pulled some art/beach opportunities so you can see some work while you enjoy the holiday.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Avoiding Anything Armory Edition

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on March 1, 2016
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Art-fair haters rejoice! The Armory Week Fairs are upon us, but there is art to see and events to attend that don’t require traveling through the halls of a convention center. Take the launch of Lorna Mills’ monthly GIF presentation on the electronic billboards of Times Square as part of Times Square Arts, or the opening of the Artist’s Institute’s new uptown home, which will kick off its six month season focused on the inimitable Hilton Als. Both take place outside of an art fair booth and in the real world!

Looking to escape the fairs this weekend? Flux Factory launches the Fung Wah Biennial, presenting the work of artists on the Chinatown bus routes. This Saturday, the destination is Boston, so if you’re looking for a post-Armory ride, this might be the ticket. (But act quick: as of writing, ten tickets are left.)

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Save Yourself for the Weekend

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on January 25, 2016
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This might seem like a slow week of screenings and talks, but it’s probably best to save your energy for the weekend anyway. There is a lot to do.

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This Week’s Must-See Events: Sext Me, Sext Me, Don’t Forget Me

by Paddy Johnson Michael Anthony Farley Rea McNamara on January 19, 2016
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Modern-day slavery, female representation and outsider art are the big themes of this week’s Must-See Art Events. Today, two talks (Cheryl I. Harris at Artists Space and the Normalities Austrian Cultural Forum) look at the market-enforced instability of ‘black’ spaces and the ongoing Balkan immigration to Vienna, respectively. Two solo shows — Betty Tompkins at FLAG Art Foundation and Carla Gannis at TRANSFER — could be seen together as first- and third-wave feminist responses to female representation. And the Outsider Art Fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion — coinciding with a Christie’s sale of outsider art on January 22 — suggests the formerly niche art market sector is finally going mainstream.

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This Week’s Must-see Art Events: IRL Computer Geeks and Digital Feminists

by Katie Waddell on March 31, 2015
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The art world must have speculative fiction on the brain. The week starts with a discussion of the art of 2050 and continues with art about the seen and unseen (“the unknown” is a pervasive theme this week). There’s also a lot having to do with data: the good, the bad, and the ugly—depending on how you feel about infographics.

Makes sense. The future is pretty much here.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: A Week of AIDS Remembrance

by Whitney Kimball on December 1, 2014
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Visual AIDS sweeps the world, a punk show comes to Brooklyn, Charles Atlas comes to Times Square, and economists review the art economy– among many of this week’s must-see art events.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Stereotypical Zinesters

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on April 21, 2014
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Dodging banality.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events

by Whitney Kimball on February 18, 2013
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Starting tomorrow, of course.

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